What criteria determine whether you are a good candidate for aortic valve surgery?


Quick Answer

Decisive factors that determine whether a candidate is suitable to undergo aortic valve surgery include age, diagnostic test results and heart structure. Other underlying medical conditions, if any, also play a role in determining eligibility for aortic valve surgery, as stated by the Cleveland Clinic.

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Full Answer

A doctor performs a number of tests to determine if the candidate can undergo aortic valve surgery. The most common test is an echocardiogram test, which produces detailed images of the heart using sound waves, according to Medtronic. This test is used to measure the electric impulses given off by the heart, which provides information about the heart’s rhythm and the size.

Other tests done include a magnetic resonance imaging, commonly referred as an MRI, as it also provides detailed images of the inside part of a heart. A doctor also listens to the heart to establish if the heart valves are opening and closing and blood is moving through them. An X-ray image of the heart and chest is also done to check for abnormalities.

In case a candidate has risk factors for coronary artery disease or is over 40, he may first undergo a cardiac catheterization to determine if he needs coronary artery bypass together with the aortic valve surgery, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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